In a quantitative systematic review, which explores similar studies (for example multiple studies that examine the effect
of cocoa on cholesterol levels), data will be processed through a meta-analysis. During meta-analysis, data from different studies are weighted depending on their sample size and relevant criteria, and evaluated to determine the cumulative outcome (e.g. whether recent research supports the use of cocoa to lower cholesterol). The results of a meta-analysis are most frequently represented in a Forest plot.
|Cochrane Collaboration: RevMan |
|Joanna Briggs Institute: SUMARI |
|OpenMeta[Analyst] completely open-source, cross-platform software for advanced meta-analysis|
|OpenMEE open-source, cross-platform software for ecological & evolutionary meta-analysis|
|Constructing a Forest plot in Microsoft Excel.|
|A practical guide to interpreting and understanding meta-analysis graphs.|
|How to interpret a Forest Plot|
Cooper, H., Hedges, Larry V, & Valentine, Jeff C. (2009). The handbook of research synthesis and meta-analysis (2nd ed.). New York: Russell Sage Foundation. (open access)
McKenzie, J., Beller, E., & Forbes, A. (2016). Introduction to systematic reviews and meta‐analysis. Respirology, 21(4), 626-637.
Wong, G., Greenhalgh, T., Westhorp, G., Buckingham, J., & Pawson, R. (2013). RAMESES publication standards: realist syntheses. BMC Medicine, 11(1), 1-14. (open access)